Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, and Taoism are amongst the oldest practicing religions in the world. Ancestor worship however is considered the oldest form of worship dating back to 300,000 BCE. These early forms of worship focused on ceremonies, revering ancestors, reaching existential states of consciousness and worshiping animals. With anthropological and archeological findings such as cave drawings, researchers are able to learn more about pre-organized forms of religions.
As civilizations started to modernize, deities were formed and ancestral worships became less common. By 35,000 BCE divine figures were becoming more customary which leaves historians to believe they were types of gods or goddess of worship. It is this type of pass evidence that help explain the development of modern day religions.
Polytheism was practiced by numerous cultures such as the Sumerians, Ancient Egyptians and Ancient Chinese. They believe in many gods and goddesses, each with their own role. Although each society worshiped different deities, they have many similarities such as the sun gods, the water gods, the love god, and most importantly the creator gods. The water deity for example belonged to Mazu in Ancient China whereas it was played by Neptune in Ancient Rome.
Hinduism is a predominant religion found in India. It is the oldest documented organized religion and one of the largest in the world. Created through various traditions, faiths, and myths, there is no known founder of the religion. Hinduism is believed to be about 5,000 years olds and stems from two main deities, Vishnu and Shiva. Both movements promote ideal ways of living known as dharma. They also believe in karma and life after death through re-embodiment.
This religion is predominately followed by the Jews and is thought to be a combination of Islam and the Christian faith. Dating back 4,000 years, Judaism is based on the conviction of one true god. Drawing morals and principals from the Torah or Pentateuch, Judaism followers prescribe to Halachah – a system that controls personal ethics, family connections, society accountability and public integrity.
Created by Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha was founded in the sixth century BCE. Buddhism was created from Hinduism and is predominant in Indian and Asian counties. This religion is based on two main subgroups, Theravada, the more conventional of the two, and Mahayana which is more liberally based. It is also founded on the four principles – suffering, yearning as the source of suffering, that suffering can expire, and living to end suffering.
Doadejing is the scripture of Taoism and it is believed to date back as far as the third or fourth century BCE. This religion is predominantly found in China and is centered on a specific way of life called the doa. The dao is best described as an unspeakable flow of everything in life. The wu wei is also another main component of Taoism. It is intended to promote living life with empathy, self-control, and humility.